Joy and Better Days

by Hip Hatchet

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Gravitation Records


released April 10, 2012

Philippe Bronchtein - Lyrics, Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Organ, Woodwinds, Banjo, Accordion,
Alex Lewis - Guitar
Charlie Freundlich - Double Bass
Jake Nussbaum - Drums

Recorded and Mixed by Tim Shrout
Mastered by Gus Elg
Album Art by Markel Uriu

Recorded at The Map Room in April 2011


all rights reserved



Hip Hatchet Nashville, Tennessee

With a voice that can meander from a whispering purr to a hardened howl, Hip Hatchet lusters the poetics of travel. Threading bold and unique guitar picking patterns with the strings of experience Hip Hatchet, the songwriting moniker of Philippe Bronchtein, is the beautiful resolution of a life lived in motion. ... more

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Track Name: American Charm
I'll be leaving my modest hills
leaving you behind for a city
press your head into my arm
your mouth is young but your heart is strong

You look beautiful in your black dress
with your golden arms falling down like your tress
look at my face as you close the door
and step over the dirty clothes on the floor

With eyes like summer
and hands so tame
she said that every good song
mentions rain

Break my chest
with your American charm
the stories of your mother
and the family farm

I know my breath
is dark and wet
won't you come by
all my friends have left

We've been drinking
and laughing hard
telling all the stories
of our calloused palms

Don't look so scared with my hands in your hair
the darkness that they've known has gone away
Pull back the shade and look outside
the rain isn't warm like your hand in mine.

I am looking forward to turning cold
My orange rusted orange neck turning gold.
the way you wear your smile is to sweet to be
dark until you decide to come back to me
Track Name: Small Demons
The warmth of Oklahoma rested there in her sleeping eyes
The barrel of her body breathing next to mine
Another man's apartment penetrated by the sun
Greeting us with morning as the day begun

Inspire me with joy and thoughts of better days
you tell me i look silly when i hang my head that way

The friend who I left back on top of the hill
Was dealing with the weight of the green mountains holding still
With crystals in his eyes he held his guitar light
He said the burden of a good man is never doing anything right

My fingers are small demons and your hair is honest and bright
If i meet you in the middle, do you think that you'd spend the night

Have you had your heart broke in your young life
Said the small frame of a man, who's words blocked out the light
With my mother sitting next to me I said sure, I guess
Looking over lake champlain, i felt the water in my chest

But the joy a young girl showed me made me feel refreshed
For once i felt i could, live a life without regrets
Even as i left her back as i went out west
The blonde boulders of her shoulders will stay with me until my death

the warmth of Oklahoma rested there in her sleepy eyes
the barrel of her body breathing next to mine
what you want with me, i cannot decide
But i know that comfort visits when you're laying by my side
Track Name: Child's Hand in Dirt
Drinking with my arms
with my head upon your floor
severed from my body
to greet you in the morning.

I know better than
to greet you on a screen
right when i wake up
and when i go to sleep

The mornings sing a song
drenched in heat and wine
they sing of all the roads i ride
and the way i waste my time

all my muscles hurt
and all my body aches
like a child's hands in dirt
i crave a simple place

If i was a child
looking down your shirt
resting both my hands
there upon your skirt

youth was wasted on my heart
I feel it to this day
in the way i walk
and in the way i say

close the blinds
you know how i hate the sun
the way that it shines
on the morning undone

Honey when you laugh
do you sing it loud
or does it rumble through your skin
and end up in the ground.

Now that you've spent your time
across the sea
do i ever cross your mind
do you think of me.
Track Name: Selfless in a City
A man with a twist off bottle of wine
asked me for a corkscrew
I said man, take your time
do what you gotta do

a larger man, well he bummed a smoke
and said you must be local
I moved here three weeks ago
but i know a thing or two

selfless in a new city thinking
I'll give myself away
'till I'm empty like the women
who fill a void and I avoid next evening

The large man's friend with shinning head
said that he came looking for some
Last night was seattle
and tonight well it's gonna be rough

go upstairs to the bar
that i can barely afford
these days i've been bleeding
months of humble chores

Selfless in a new city thinking
I'll give myself away
until my friends have had their fill
and let their knees dig in my back till my chest is dead and still

Man i met at the Bye and Bye
had his ears stretched open wide
he saved me from being alone
for an hour's time

A little later in the night
I said I probably shouldn't drive
but oh man, I've been feeling alone
and a car wreck sounds all right

selfless in a new city thinking
I'll give myself away
until my shoulders touch my toes
And i look down and both my hands

are gray and old
so i can say that oh, i gave it all
Track Name: Sing Me a Reprise
Leaving Home ain't pleasant
the road can be cold and cruel
when all that you've learned is present
in these familiar rooms

and I have been feeling distant
from the friends i've learned to love
i crave the comfort of transition
and a car covered in rust

Your eyes are facing down
your feet are planted firmly in the ground
you're thinking about how
she left you standing there in your mother's house

and you're waiting for the fall
and nothing that you do will help at all
the cold will settle in
both your hands will crack and your eyes will sting.

what's unknown is beautiful
when what we live ain't new
but the warmth of other women
just ain't as warm as you

sing me a reprise
that i know as well as home
delivered with the guilty comfort
of drinking all alone

I have a friend, a brother
with a vision of the west
we'll trade the coasts together
and leave its for the best

My feet are moving now
away from the place where she taught me how
to love her with my mouth
and drive myself into the ground

I'm waiting for the fall
nothing that i do will help at all
the cold will settle in
both my hands will crack and my eyes will sting
Track Name: Misdirected Man
the green that i knew was never so bright
the trees and the leaves breathing light.
Home is a place where i feel away
from everyone i know and every place i stay

I ain't never know love untill i went away
up into the hills that i left today.
the mountains and the snow kept me cold and slow
i kept another's heat and i kissed another's glow

Listen to the songs, that i'll always know
throw thunder road on the radio
Singin' of the state that I call my home
cadillacs and heartbreak, pretty girls who know

of everything i've done
and all the songs i've sung
why my chest is bruised
and why my head is hung

I ain't got a path
and I ain't got a plan,
but darling won't you let me be
your misdirected man.

turn the music up so my mind can breath
put down your drink and turn up your sleeves
your arms are red from the golden sun
beating on your back like a soldier's drum

the place that I love is no longer my home
the boys that I drink with are exhausted and grown
the place where i was born I cannot call my own
my heels are hooves and my eyes are stone
Track Name: Limits and Rules
The Blues is happy music
said an aging man of gray
you recognize the sadness
so you can sing with birds again

chase a dream with both your hands
stuck to the wheel like glue
hold your head up high despite the lies
fading friends told you

is this what the blues is
in a strange town on your own
watching as your hardened hands
look softer than of those

other fools around you
who've been doing this twice as long
and go to work each morning
and sing those happy songs

the dying car that you drove so far
in your brand new boots
took you to a place thats true but far from the ones you love

Now that its been over a year
does your heart feel relieved
to know that love has limits and rules
and that flesh is not to be believed
Track Name: Second Pair of Hands
surrender your gaze
to the wooden glow
hardened and alive
desperate and kind

crave your mother's comfort
as i hold your breast near mine
with bourbon on my sigh
my fading hands will glide

up your desperate body
that is held above the floor
by the place i lay my head
my neck and weary core

the silver trees we walk beneath
have lost their simple worth
as they watch us talk and stumble
anticipate and curse

Turn your house into a cage
so i can think of her
speak to other women
and sink into the earth

You are not
my second pair of hands
the morning will arrive
with its fury and demands

Let our vulgar warmth
confide in simple lust
breathe between our teeth
and the fire in our lungs

Sit below the earth
with my brother in disgust
as a column of light descends
and dances with the dust

Sitting on the floor
that is covered in our filth
watching as the walls melt
separate and tilt

They have seen me at my worst
and staring at the sky
begging for your body
and hoping for your time

And I apologize
for the way i spoke to you
the drink pulls my cheeks upwards
there's not much i can do.
Track Name: Dark Dancer
South Carolina girl, Here I come
I'm coming up from Georgia where I seen the sun
for the first time in weeks, oh it gave me life
I left my heart up north but it felt all right

Oh my dear you look so bright
dancing in barely any light
Your mouth reminds me of my hills back home
and your eyes ain't like nothing that I've ever known.

Her calming breath upon my brow
cooled my sweat and eased my pain
I left her back but don't know how
I'll hold her again if i can

So I hit the road with some men
whom I entrust as my closest friends
drinking and dancing in the dusk
Living fast and loving rough

Oh my dear you look so bright
dancing in barely any light
Your mouth reminds me of the hills back home
and your eyes ain't like nothing that I've ever known.

The hills don't live all alone you see
I brought them right along with me
In my dirty hands they do reside
strange and warm, side by side
Track Name: Florida Palm
Darling I find you careless
Hiding underneath a table
Hugging four legs that ain't your parents'
your cheeks against the floor

I could give you both of my arms
press your breasts into my palms
And i could give you all of the calm
and shade of a florida palm

I have been looking for simple
forms of understanding
how mountains were torn down and cities were built
if life would be different without all of the guilt

that coastal lovers have learned
when they realize that sand can burn
the arches in your feet
and the land locked air you breathe

I could give you both of my arms
press your breasts into my palms
And i could give you all of the calm
and shade of a florida palm

Winter came as heavy
Snow on New Jersey
I will shovel your walkway
If you make me something hot to drink

I wear my coat like a heavy skin
to keep my true form hidden
the snow it seems to be boiling
when for you i play the part of a man
Track Name: Antlers on the Wall
smile, smile with your eyes,
only if your mouth is occupied

And hold, both your arms up high
tell the swelling clouds that they can cry

Simple, Simple little things
that other's do to make us sing

there's antlers on the wall
of a brand new place to fall

Breathe, Breathe in the rain
let the water wash away the burden that you've gained

No, No i don't know much
about the ones i've held and touched

My, my Fading memory
always seems to get the best of me

It's all right to smile
every once in a while
if you take the weight of others
and bear it like a child
Track Name: When I Sing For Strangers
The Poor ships that we sailed
in those seas of sheets
harbored in the passing safety
of each others teeth

white like lies that couldn't hurt
clasping on my back
don't forget me when you leave
but don't let me hold you back

But how could i forget your hair
thats grown longer since you left
i smell it still in the cotton waves
of other women's beds

the bodies i borrow for a night
have never felt less right
reminders of you as they glide into
slumber by my side

Her face fits fine in the cinder of
my hateful dirty palms
I used to wash my hands at night
before I'd sing you songs

when i sing for strangers
my voice is weak and young
i think of your house out in the woods
and the words that you forced from your lungs

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